Remedios Amaya obtained a poor result for Spain in the 1983 Eurovision Song Contest, but despite this her career was not halted, as she is still active and successful as a flamenco interpreter.
The Spanish newspaper ABC has recently published a résumé of her deeds after Eurovision. If there is one result in the Eurovision Song Contest that still echoes in Spain, that is unfortunately the null points that Remedios Amaya had in 1983 with ¿Quién maneja mi barca? Although she was not a new performer (she had already released an album in 1978), she became famous after she sang in Luxemburg. Outside of Spain flamenco was not perceived then as it is now.
Even after this slip, Remedios Amaya continued working and accomplished a profitable career as a flamenco singer which is still ongoing. She has cultivated genres like flamenco, bulerías, tangos, alegrías and rumba. In the early 80s she was keen on working on the style called flamenco-rock. This was followed by a gap with no albums which was halted in 1997 with the Me voy contigo, which included her greatest hit Turai turai. In 2002 she would release Sonsonete, and a greatest hits compilation in 2004. After this, Remedios has been working on live performances only. In 2013 it was announced that she was working on a new album, produced by Alejandro Sanz, but no further was heard about this.
La india chica (the little indian), as she is called in Sevilla, still steps up onto the stage to please the audience with her overwhelming ability. We can expect that her live performances will not stop, because, as she says, if I didn’t do it I’d die.
Her low result in the Eurovision Song Contest left a terrible impression in the Spanish audience (the Spanish commentator that year, José Miguel Ullán, asked the audience not to cry), but Remedios Amaya is proud of her entry. She has had the impression sometimes of being rejected because of her last place, though. Her memories and recount of the performance illustrates how ill-fated her entry was: she recalls that she was not permitted to wear the dress she had prepared for the Eurovision night because it did not match the stage design. She had to wear the one that appeared in the song’s music video… And then her shoes did not go with that dress, leading to her barefoot performance, which is one of the things that the Spanish public most remembers from that night.
Her story is one of spirit of achievement. We hope we will be hearing more from La india chica soon.
Remedios Amaya sang ¿Quién maneja mi barca? in the 1983 Eurovision Song Contest for Spain.